When I feel for the word perfection there are a variety of ideas and images. That which can’t be bettered, is the first. A cake that comes out of the oven with perfect symmetry, texture and taste. If you are as old as me you may remember the name Nadia Comaneci. She was a young Russian Olympian at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. A gymnast. Her performances were extraordinary. She was the first person to ever receive perfect scores for her routines. She nailed those performances. I was only a child at the time, but I remember holding my breath as I watched her. She floated through the air and landed with surety, precision and fluidity. Her performance held no visible flaw. The beauty and grace in her were stunning. (She’s on U-tube) For me she epitomised the word, Perfection.
As the years have gone by my ideas on perfection have received a bit of a shake up. We love to have systems for measuring this objective of perfection. What is so good about perfection anyway? Why do we obsessively strive towards this idea of doing something perfectly. What’s the pay off? There is always a pay off…… Are we searching for the accolades of those around us. Peers, friends and family, global audiences. There is a wow factor in perfection. Did you see what ‘they did?’ Or is it some hardwired drive to see what we are capable of? How far we can take an activity. Push it to the extreme. It becomes some sort of personal crusade. Like the deep sea divers who see how far they can dive without oxygen as a sport. They are on the edge. Is it the excitement of being on the edge? Are they chasing the feeling of the thrill? Or just seeing what is possible?
And what of the arts? Have you ever heard a piece of music played and felt, aaaah, there is perfection. So is it technical perfection that you are hearing? Not a note played incorrectly. In my world this does not necessarily equate to perfection. Technical perfection may well have a particular type of beauty, but if you offered me the same piece of music played with the odd technical mistake, but from soul (ie the performer was deeply IN the piece and I could feel that they were emotionally moved / involved) then I would take that every time. So, at times perfection is in the eye of the beholder. Like a sunset. Ooooooh, look at the sunset. The colours are vivid and sheeting over the sky. What about tomorrow night’s sunset and the one after? How is it that one is better than another? Can there be a perfect sunset? Perfection duplicated over and over in different form. It’s all perception.
How about this as an idea? Errors are perfection. What? How can errors and perfection line up in the same sentence? Errors are on the same road as perfection. They are the necessary precursor to any activity continuing on in a manner that improves. Consider an artist; a painter. They begin learning how to mix colours and then replicate then faithfully over subsequent days, then they may learn how to use their different brushes and create particular effects, next may be the teachings on how to create depth in a picture. All of these learnings require practice and inevitably there will be many times that the student cannot match the teacher. Are they flawed, inadequate and less than? No. They are learning and each day their current perfection rises.
Each day your current perfection rises………
Perfection is simply being your very best in the moment. One man’s perfection is another man’s beginner. There may be a day coming where a new bench mark is created that is your own personal threshold lifting higher or a global bench mark. People strive to reach their perfection just as Nadia did. Have you had an experience of perfection? Or do you need others to verify your competence? It’s all just perception. When Nadia Comaneci completed her performance the judges faced an interesting dilemma. The score board provided no opportunity to record a 10. There was no prior perception of a performance of that level. They had to record 1’s on the board! She outstripped all sense of what had been possible. She was just doing her best!
OK, so how is this blog today? It is perfect? Have I reached you? Did you learn something? ………he he……….
In Joy the day